What should I do if I find dead or dying bats, or if I observe bats with signs of White-nose Syndrome?

If you find a dead or dying bat:

  • Contact your state wildlife agency, file an electronic report in those states that offer this service, e-mail U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists in your area, or contact your nearest Fish and Wildlife Service field office to report your potential White-nose Syndrome (WNS) observations.
  • It is important to determine the species of bat in case it is a federally protected species. Photograph the potentially affected bats (including close-up shots, if possible) and send the photograph and a report to a state or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service contact (above).
  • If you need to dispose of a dead bat found on your property, pick it up with a plastic bag over your hand or use disposable gloves. Place both the bat and the bag into another plastic bag, spray with disinfectant, close the bag securely, and dispose of it with your garbage. Thoroughly wash your hands and any clothing that comes into contact with the bat. 
  • If you see a band on the wing of a bat or a small device with an antenna on the back of a bat (living or dead), contact your state wildlife agency or your nearest Fish and Wildlife Service field office, as these are tools biologists use to identify individual bats.

Learn more at the website for the White-Nose Syndrome Response Team, a partnership of North American agencies and organizations including the USGS.

 

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Image: Dead Bats Near Cave Entrance
March 1, 2008

Dead Bats Near Cave Entrance

Bats die prematurely when affected by white-nose syndrome.